In those moments, I’ve wished to be sitting in front of someone who could relate.
Despite knowing I can feel intimacy with white guys, right now what divides us feels like a chasm.
No matter how close I held the mirror up to their faces, sometimes their good and liberal wells of understanding and compassion were simply inaccessible.
The other day, I was on the subway platform playing my usual game, and I caught the eye of a black guy.
It felt different this time, like the flirtatious version of the “black nod” at work — an acknowledgement between two black employees who might not even know one another, but who have a shared experience.
In every relationship I have with a white man, there comes a moment when they come to understand a simple fact of my life: that racism is an intimate part of my daily existence.
Sometimes, they’re enraged — like the time when I called my last boyfriend after I left American Apparel in search of nipple covers for a white bodysuit. And then there are the quieter times, the ones that weigh more heavily, that bring us closer together.
They’re in the streets, calling senators and congressmen, attending community board meetings, and holding sign-making parties. But while the political universes of my white friends are cracking open, I’m feeling more inclined than ever to cloister myself.
I’ve gone on a few dates with white guys in the last few months, and the same thing always happens.
They smoked weed in their parents’ houses with abandon. If they wanted me, I thought, it was because I seemed free like them. Since college I’ve had five boyfriends, and all of them have been white. They’re no longer the object of my affection, a mirror for my self-worth, or an affirmation of my beauty. The night Trump was elected, I wrote about feeling lonely.
I wanted to be comforted — but I wanted it to be by someone who had an inkling of the anxiety I felt for my family, my loved ones, and for myself.
During a bathroom break or a trip to the bar, I’ll check my phone, and almost always there is a news alert telling me Donald Trump is attempting to curtail, or has just succeeded in curtailing, the rights of marginalized people in America.